Thursday , January 18 2018
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North Providence Planning Board Recommends Marijuana Cultivation Center

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The North Providence Planning Board is considering a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Review to allow a state-licensed marijuana cultivation facility. The facility would be located on Charles Street in a 14,702-sqft. building.

The building is located in a commercial zone (CV), Valley Breeze reports. Eastern Green Solutions wishes to operate in the building partially occupied by Charles Street Diner. Several new businesses would be within walking distance from the cultivation facility.

One issue that may arise is the current rules for growing crops, which by state law requires a 5-acre property in a residential area. A use variance would have to be obtained since the crop growing for Eastern Green Solutions would be in a commercial zone.

The North Providence Zoning Board will hear the Planning Board’s recommendation on November 16.

Town Planner David Westcott said, “I don’t think that’s what a CV zone is supposed to be doing.”

According to Westcott, businesses in CV zones are to benefit those in the immediate vicinity of the business. The business wouldn’t be allowed to sell its product to its neighbors, so it may not fit into the targeted area for that reason. Westcott himself isn’t opposed to the facility; he just questions its ability to meet the requirements as the products of the cultivation facility would only be allowed to be sold to those with medical marijuana cards at state-licensed dispensaries.

North Providence doesn’t have an ordinance in place regarding marijuana cultivation. One may be created due to Eastern Green Solutions’ application.

Westcott said, “This is the first time we’ve seen one, so we’ll see what happens.”

To gain approval, according to chairman Theodore Garille, would have to prove that there is no other beneficial/practical use for the property. They’d also have to prove “hardship associated with continuing an existing nonconforming use of warehouse space”.

Garille said, “I think that’s going to be a task to show that.”

Garille says that the building has the necessary security but he doesn’t think it fits into the CV zone.

Rhode Island’s new regulations remove patient caregivers as the suppliers to the state’s licensed dispensaries.